Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows How Plant Cells Spin Cotton

Date:
January 4, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Davis
Summary:
Cotton, paper and wood -- they're all made of the cellulose that plants use for strength and flexibility. But surprisingly, scientists do not know a lot about how plants actually make cellulose. Now research at the University of California, Davis, has shed light on a key step: how fibers get started.

Cotton, paper and wood -- they're all made of the cellulose that plants use for strength and flexibility. But surprisingly, scientists do not know a lot about how plants actually make cellulose. Now research at the University of California, Davis, has shed light on a key step: how fibers get started.

Related Articles


Sitosterol, a fatty substance similar to cholesterol, combines with glucose to form a "primer" that gets the process started, according to research by Langcai Peng and colleagues at the UC Davis Section of Plant Biology.

"This adds a key step in understanding cellulose synthesis," said plant biologist Deborah Delmer, who is senior author on the paper.

Cellulose is made of chains of glucose molecules joined together. Researchers have identified a family of enzymes, called CesA, each of which can add new glucose blocks to existing chains of cellulose. But the CesA enzymes cannot take the first glucose molecule and begin a chain, Delmer said. They can only make an existing chain longer.

The sterol may help keep the first glucose unit near the cellulose-making machinery in the cell membrane. After the first step, the enzymes can make the chain longer by adding extra glucose units to the end away from the sterol.

The growing chain is pushed through the cell membrane to the outside of the cell. In some plants, such as cotton, extra cellulose provides the strength and other properties that make cotton fibers so valuable to the textile industry.

To study cellulose production, the researchers grew fibers from cotton plants in the laboratory. They also transferred genes into yeast, to find the minimum requirements for making cellulose.

The paper is published in the Jan. 4 issue of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Davis. "Study Shows How Plant Cells Spin Cotton." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104074413.htm>.
University Of California - Davis. (2002, January 4). Study Shows How Plant Cells Spin Cotton. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104074413.htm
University Of California - Davis. "Study Shows How Plant Cells Spin Cotton." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104074413.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins